New Haven

Bring the Kids While You Workout: Gyms With Childcare in Fairfield County

Yes! You've decided to join the gym and you're pumped about getting pumped up. First priority: make sure you join a gym that makes working out convenient. That means: in-gym childcare!

Of course, there are some days when you want to include the kids in a workout. You can always move it with your posse on a favorite local hike or bike ridean outdoor ropes course or other great active trips found in our Fairfield County Guide. I have four kids, and can't always count on getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. or on my hubs getting home in time for my favorite yoga class. For that reason, I narrowed my gym choices to those fitness facilities that offer childcare in Fairfield County.

All Aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express

These rattling, toot-tooting relics are truly treasures across New England landscapes. Each time those vintage diesel locomotives come to life, you can hear that pitter patter of those train-loving little souls of ours. Their dome-cars with padded seats offer the ultimate views for the leaf peeper in all of us and a stop at the pumpkin patch is sure to delight those littles in tow. Here is a roundup of historic Connecticut trains and trolleys to climb aboard this fall. And, for more autumn adventures, check out our CT Halloween & Fall Fun Guide for Kids

Apple Picking Orchards in the New Haven Area

There's something about the way the air feels as summer fades to autumn that is uniquely New England. It's that time of year when we begin to break out hats and scarves and crave warm drinks on nippy days. One of our favorite fall activities is apple picking and the New Haven area surely doesn't disappoint when it comes to Pick Your Own orchards. In fact, the whole state is spilling over with fresh fruit just waiting to be harvested. Find an orchard near you in our CT Apple Picking Guide.  And not to worry if your apple harvesters go a little overboard, we have some awesome recipes to help you turn your autumn bounty into a fruit-filled feast.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes in New Haven County

The autumn sun, colorful foliage, crisp air, giggling children, and a cup of hot cider -- this is the antithesis to the workweek grind. Add a pumpkin or two into the mix, and whether you're decorating it or turning it into a baked delight, you have the recipe for a great fall. Some of the spots we found in the New Haven area are the definition of agri-tourism, so they also made our list of Apple Picking Orchards in central Connecticut. Whether you are looking for slender pumpkins or plump, sprawling farms or cozier ones, New Haven County has what you seek. For even more ideas, sign up for our weekly newsletter and check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.

Wondrous, Wild Waterfalls Waiting for You in Connecticut

Waterfalls are amazing creations of nature that astound even the hardiest hiker and outdoor lover. The water pounding on the rocks, the splash of the spray, and the shallow wading pools leave the kids with lasting memories. Connecticut is lucky to be home to hundreds of waterfalls; many of them are accessible with just short walks and a little effort for all ages. Of course, please exercise caution at all of these sites as rocks are slippery when wet! If you are looking for more outdoor adventures, go hiking at one of these Hartford area spots and check out our list of ropes courses in Connecticut!

25 Things to Do With Kids in the Lower Naugatuck Valley

Tucked in between Fairfield and New Haven counties, the Lower Naugatuck Valley or just, 'The Valley,' is really a hidden bucolic paradise. From Shelton to Southbury, the valley offers plenty of New England backcountry to explore. Head to Derby for some of the best farmstead ice cream in the state or hike up Southford Falls for a panoramic view of sweeping hills and a killer sunset. Climb to the top of the towering Pease Place playscape and cool off in the lagoon at Indian Wells State Park. Here's our list of the top 25 things to do in the valley with your kiddos.

Young, Wild, and Free in New Haven County

Few words bring more joy to a parent's heart than the word FREE. Because let's face it, keeping kids entertained can be a pricey prospect. Give your wallet the day off once in a while and seek out some priceless family time free of charge. And don't worry, just because you don't have to fork over the green doesn't mean these are second best. I've rounded up some of New Haven County's first rate free activities guaranteed to delight everyone from the water babies to the space buffs and a whole lot in between. If you want to venture further afield, check out some free summer activities in Hartford County or visit some of the fairs, festivals, and carnivals in New Haven County, many of which offer free admission.

Best Mountains to Climb With Kids in Connecticut

Have you ever planned a perfect day of hiking with the kiddos only to hear whines ranging from “I’m bored,” to, “I have to go to the bathroom,” to, “Are we there yet?” I have definitely been there and feel your pain. You’ve packed the perfect picnic lunch to be enjoyed alongside a babbling brook after you’ve spent your morning becoming one with nature but your kids have lost interest after finishing their Nature Valley granola bar 10 minutes into the hike. Sigh.

Well, have you considered climbing a mountain? We have rounded up some hikes across the state that are sure to keep the kid’s interest as you scale mountain tops, discover giants, castles, and maybe a hobbit house or two.

Family Friendly Boat Tours in Connecticut

Sea legs. You either have them or you don't. For some, there's nothing more relaxing than drifting along the open water, catching a sea breeze, spotting marine life. For others...not so much. If you and your family fall into the former category and are hoping to get out on the water this summer, this post is just for you. Check out some of the fantastically fun family friendly (whew, say that five times fast) boat tours Connecticut has to offer and, when you're landlocked again why not grab a bite somewhere along the shore.

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